Barry Briggs

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Barry Briggs
File:Barry Briggs.JPG
Born (1934-12-30) 30 December 1934 (age 84)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Nationality  New Zealand
Current club information
Career status Retired (1976)
Career history
1952–1959, 1974-1975
Wimbledon Dons
New Cross Rangers
Southampton Saints
Swindon Robins
Hull Vikings
Individual honours
1957, 1958, 1964, 1966
1959, 1963
1961, 1964, 1965, 1966,
1967, 1969
1965, 1966, 1967, 1968,
1969, 1970
1966, 1967, 1970
World Champion
New Zealand Champion
British Champion

British League Riders Champion

London Riders' Champion
Southern Riders' Champion
Midland Riders' Champion
Scottish Open Champion
Team honours
1968, 1971
1954, 1955, 1956, 1958,
1959, 1963
1953, 1956, 1959
1967, 1968
World Team Cup
National League Champion

British League Champion
National Trophy Winner
Midland Cup Winner
London Cup Winner

Barry Briggs MBE (born 30 December 1934) from Christchurch, New Zealand is a former Speedway rider.


He won the World Individual Championship title four times – in 1957, 1958, 1964 and 1966.[1] He appeared in a record 17 consecutive World Individual finals (1954–70), and a record 18 in all, during which he scored a record 201 points. He also won the London Riders' Championship in 1955 whilst riding for the Wimbledon Dons.[2] He is also a six-time winner of the British Championship. He won the first final in 1961 and then dominated the sixties titles by winning in 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, and 1969.[3] Briggs also won his home title, the New Zealand Championship, twice winning in 1959 and again in 1963.

Briggs also created a domestic record by winning the British League Riders Championship for six consecutive years from 1965–1970, representing the Swindon Robins.[4]

Briggs retired from British league racing in 1972 after an accident during Heat 5 of the World Final at Wembley Stadium with Swedish rider Bernt Persson.[5] As a result of the accident, Briggs lost the index finger of his left hand,[6] but returned in 1974, retiring for a final time in 1976.

During the early-mid 1970's, Briggs was one of a number of World Champion riders (along with fellow kiwi Ivan Mauger and Denmark's Ole Olsen) as well as a number of others such as Edward Jancarz and Zenon Plech from Poland and England's Chris Pusey, who embarked on world tours to Australia, his native New Zealand and the USA. Their trips to the USA, primarily the Costa Mesa Speedway in Los Angeles, helped spark the American motorcycle speedway scene which had been dormant on the world stage since the pre-World War II days of 1937 World Champion Jack Milne, his brother Cordy Milne and Wilbur Lamoreaux.

After retirement

In 1973 Briggs was awarded an MBE for his services to sport and in 1990 he was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. From 17 March 2010 Briggs took part in a John o' Groats to Land's End bike ride to raise money for the BBC's Sport Relief.[7]

In retirement, Briggs became the mentor to many young riders who went on to race in World Finals including fellow Kiwi Mitch Shirra. He also lent his voice to television, becoming a respected speedway commentator in England and Europe, as well as the USA.

World final appearances

Individual World Championship

World Pairs Championship

World Team Cup

Note: Briggs rode for Great Britain in the World Team Cup.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5
  2. Jacobs, Norman (2001). Speedway in London. Stroud: Tempus Publishing ISBN 0-7524-2221-9
  3. Belton, Brian (2003). Hammerin' Round. Stroud: Tempus Publishing ISBN 0-7524-2438-6
  4. Martin Rogers (1978). The Illustrated History of Speedway. Studio Publications (Ipswich) Ltd. ISBN 0-904584-45-3
  5. Barry Briggs Wembley and beyond
  6. Bott, Richard (1973) The Champions Book of Speedway No. 4, Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd., ISBN 0-09-116380-3, pp. 24–31
  7. "Barry Briggs: The Ride". Retrieved 2010-03-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>